FARMED ANIMALS SUFFER
You probably visited this website for the ‘80s pop music, but I hope that you will take the time to explore the pages about animals and veganism. My intention in creating this website is to provide the facts of the animal agricultural industry, in order to end animal cruelty and slaughter. This website exposes the truth about the harm humans do to farmed animals (and also exposes the destruction animal agriculture causes our planet, and the reality that humans do not need to consume animal products to be healthy). Please do not confuse facts with judgment or condemnation. Sometimes facts can be difficult to process and to accept, and can make us feel emotional and upset.
Of course I care about all animals, but land animals who are farmed (especially chickens, cows, and pigs) are in a category all their own: They suffer the most, for the longest duration, for their entire lives, and in the greatest numbers. All of the animals who suffer and die in other industries (clothing, laboratories, circuses, theme parks, shelters, etc.) don’t even add up to HALF A PERCENT of the total of land animals who suffer and die for humans every year. For example, for every single animal who dies in a shelter, about 3,400 farmed animals die.
I feel that revealing the atrocities that farmed animals experience will have the greatest impact in decreasing animal cruelty overall. Hidden away from the public eye, farm animals need allies to speak on their behalf, and I created this website to help them.
The reality of what farmed animals endure is concealed and distorted, and as living beings, they are almost never mentioned or seen (unless in animated media for children or deceptive marketing advertisements). Hiding the animals and the entire issue is exactly what the meat, dairy, and egg industries want. You probably don’t think about farmed animals as suffering individual beings because they are hidden——out of sight, out of mind.
WHERE ARE THESE BILLIONS OF ANIMALS?
Over 70 billion land animals are killed every year worldwide for human consumption. In 2015 in the United States alone, 9.2 billion land animals were slaughtered for food, according to the US Department of Agriculture. But where are these 9.2 billion animals? The world’s human population is 7.4 billion. The US population is 320 million. We see humans everywhere we go. But where are these billions of farm animals? And why are they hidden?
The fact that we don’t see these animals allows the animal agriculture industry to abuse and torture them without regulation or public outcry. The multi-billion-dollar meat/dairy/egg industry has been very successful in hiding the horrifying reality of animal consumption (as well as hiding the science proving that being vegan is healthy for humans and necessary for the planet), but the reality is finally being exposed. Most people have no idea how farm animals are treated, and they don't want to know. We know that we are conflicted because we look for “feel-good” labels such as “humanely raised,” “free range,” “grass fed,” and “cage free.” These misleading labels somehow soothe our conscience, allowing us to participate in what we really don’t want to know. We stay focused on the separate end product in the package or on the plate, disconnected from the actual living beings who suffered.
99% OF U.S. FARM ANIMALS COME FROM FACTORY FARMS
Contrary to what you might believe, over 99% of animals used for food in the United States come from factory farms (See DATA & STATISTICS ON THE RESOURCES page), which are huge industrial operations that raise large numbers of animals for food. The focus is on profit and efficiency rather than the well-being of the animals. These animals eventually go to slaughterhouses, where they are killed and processed. Many people want to believe that the meat, milk, and eggs that they purchase come from small family-owned farms where the animals are treated well. Most Americans also assume that we have laws protecting farm animals from harmful treatment, and that the animal agriculture industry can be trusted to care for these animals.
FACTORY FARM STANDARD PRACTICES
Unfortunately, only a minuscule fraction of animals used for food come from small farms. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s most recent census, only about two in 10,000 chickens, for example, are sold by a small farm. The remaining 99.98% of chickens are sold by factory farms. The same basic percentage applies to cows, pigs, turkeys, and sheep. All but the tiniest fraction come from factory farms, where the animals endure immense pain and suffering from the well-documented standard practices that the neither the animal agriculture industry nor the government even bother to deny: castration, de-beaking, de-horning, tail docking, tail clipping, teeth clipping, burning marks in skin, hole punching in ears for tags, udder-singeing, spiked nose-ringing, and other mutilations – all carried out without any painkillers. Also, even on small farms the animals endure most of these same cruel and abusive standard practices.
The animals on factory farms also endure extreme confinement and overcrowding, toxic conditions of extreme filth, debilitating infections and diseases, food and water deprivation, forced insemination of the females, separation of mothers and babies, piglet thumping (Sickly piglets are killed by slamming them headfirst on concrete, which is an accepted industry standard that is considered humane.), and the gassing, suffocation, and maceration of male chicks on the day that they are born.
SO MUCH SUFFERING...
There’s also the genetic engineering that causes these animals to gain more weight than they can carry, and the manipulation of their reproductive systems that causes them to produce more eggs or milk than they ever would naturally – which destroys their bones and causes many of them to become lame or suffer from painful osteoporosis.
The vast majority of factory farms use horrendously cruel battery cages for hens (currently banned only in California); gestation crates for pigs (currently banned only in Florida, Maine, Oregon, Arizona, Rhode Island, California, and Colorado); and dairy industry veal crates (currently banned only in Maine, Colorado, Michigan, Arizona, Rhode Island, California, Kentucky, and Ohio). Click HERE to see the facts.
And, perhaps worst of all is the torturing of the animals for fun by the employees, which has been very well-documented on video in undercover investigations by animal charities.
All of this severe psychological, emotional, and physical trauma happens to these animals on factory farms for their entire lives before their delivery to the slaughterhouses. And it’s all totally legal, hidden from the public, and funded by US consumers and taxpayers through government subsidies.
THE HUMANE METHODS OF SLAUGHTER ACT
Unfortunately, not a single federal law protects animals during their entire lives on factory farms. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act was passed in 1958.
It only mentions cows, pigs, sheep, and horses, and applies exclusively to the moment that those animals are slaughtered, saying nothing about how they should be treated from birth until the moment of slaughter.
Chickens, turkeys, and other animals are not mentioned at all in The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and therefore have NO protection at all from the extreme cruelty and prolonged suffering that is standard in the animal agriculture industry, and these exempted animals make up well over 90% of the animals killed for food in the US. (There are very few state laws that address farm animal treatment, which you may read about HERE.)
It may be hard to think of the vast number of farmed animals as individuals, like a companion cat or dog, whom we consider members of our family. But if you could look into their eyes, you would see that they are individuals, suffering. Chickens, cows, pigs and other domesticated farm animals, whom many people live with as companion animals, are no different from cats and dogs. The animals we raise and kill for food are just as sensitive, communicative, and unique as the dogs and cats we adore in our homes. They all seek attention and affection, bond with other animals, care about their babies, feel emotions, can experience pain, and want to live.
Anyone who has spent time with farm animals at a sanctuary knows that there is fundamentally nothing different about developing relationships with them than there is with our traditional animal companions. If you’ve had a friendship with a dog or cat, or even a horse or a parrot, then you know that animals have the capacity to love and to bond with you and to become enjoyable friends.
Carnism is the belief system that has conditioned us to think differently about the animals we use for food and clothing. In some countries, dogs and cats are tortured and slaughtered for food and clothing. If you find that repulsive and outrageous, how is that different from what Americans do to cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals? If you have moral consideration for dogs and cats, but not for other animals, please think about why that is.
Breaking free of cultural conditioning allows us to logically extend our compassion to other species of animals. Animals whom humans raise for food are no different, but we subject them to extreme misery and torture. If you treated a dog or cat the same way the animal agriculture industry treats billions of farm animals, it would be considered a crime. There is no moral justification for treating them any differently than we would treat a companion animal or even another human.
Have you been culturally conditioned to believe that some animals deserve to be treated differently so that you may consume their flesh and bodily secretions? When and why did you make that distinction? And are you being fair and ethical? If you don’t want dogs or cats to suffer, then is it morally consistent for you to contribute to the suffering of other animals? Being vegan means treating all animals the way most people treat their companion animals – not as objects or food sources, but with love and respect.
WHO’S LYING TO YOU?
If you are against animal cruelty, then once you learn the truth about what happens to farmed animals, becoming vegan is a rational, compassionate response based on your personal values.
You probably already agree that causing harm to others for pleasure is not an acceptable "personal choice."
Basic human decency dictates that causing unnecessary harm to others is wrong. Once learning the facts, each individual either holds himself accountable for harming others, or he doesn’t.
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT THAT THE FACTS HAVE BEEN HIDDEN FROM YOU, quite deliberately by the meat/dairy/egg industry and the government, who have billions of dollars invested in animal agriculture. The government spends billions of our tax dollars promoting and subsidizing this industry, and politicians are reimbursed with campaign contributions.
Vegans have no reason to lie to you about the horrible cruelty that happens to these animals, and we are fighting very wealthy and powerful foes in the agricultural industry who will spare no expense to keep on duping the public about meat, milk, and eggs.
By exposing the truth about animal agriculture, vegans have nothing to gain (except the peace of mind that we are helping the animals). Who has the most incentive to lie to you?
“IT’S MY PERSONAL CHOICE!”
To make an informed choice, you need all of the available information. We all make countless decisions every day, and we don’t even think about many of our choices because they have become ingrained as part of our daily routines. But at some point, we need to take a moment to think about our choices to make sure that those choices align with our values.
If you are a paying customer of flesh, organs, and bodily secretions from animals, have you compared that choice with other animal issues that you find morally reprehensible? For example, are you appalled by the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, the 10-day annual celebration in China at which up to 15,000 dogs are slaughtered? Are you against dog fighting? Or animal experimentation? Or animals used in circuses and amusement parks? How can it be wrong to harm animals for pleasure and profit in some cases but not others?
Do you consider yourself an animal lover? Do you become upset when you find out that a cat or dog has suffered and died due to neglect or abuse? Could you kill an animal yourself? Is there an ethical or practical difference between committing an act of violence yourself and paying someone else to do it for you? These are difficult questions, and you probably don’t want to think about them.
Have you ever actually watched any of the standard “humane” procedures that these animals endure, such as de-beaking, de-horning, castration, forced insemination, teeth clipping, tail clipping, burning marks in skin, hole punching in ears for tags, udder-singeing, spiked nose-ringing, and other mutilations—all carried out without any painkillers? These are standard practices on farms of all sizes. If you don’t believe that animals who are used and killed for food endure these horrendous procedures, just do an internet search and find out for yourself.
Have you ever actually watched any of the standard “humane” slaughter procedures that these animals endure, such as piglet thumping (sickly piglets are killed by slamming them headfirst on concrete); the gassing, suffocation, and maceration of male chicks in the egg industry; or terrified cows in a line waiting to be slaughtered as they watch and hear other cows fighting for their lives?
Do you know the standard procedure of slaughtering chickens, which is an electrical water-bath stun system? The birds are hung upside down with their legs shackled into a metal conveyor, and they are moved through a vat of electrified water, which is intended to stun and paralyze them into a tonic seizure that causes their muscles to contract, rendering them unconscious before their necks are slit by an industrial blade. Their bodies are then dropped into scalding hot water, which removes their feathers. This system doesn’t work on every chicken, and some are still conscious and experience intense suffering. Even if only 1% of chickens who are slaughtered for meat in the United States are not effectively stunned, that would mean that every year, more than 90 million of them are paralyzed but still fully conscious, experiencing an agonizing death—because 9 billion chickens are killed for food each year in the U.S.
If you find these procedures shocking and disturbing, understand that they are standard in the animal agriculture industry all over the world. The reason you haven’t heard about any of it is because it’s all hidden away by the animal agriculture industry so that humans don’t have to think about it. Again, if you don’t believe any of this, do some research yourself. There are many thousands of videos available online that show exactly what happens to these animals. No one wants to watch videos that show what animals who are exploited and slaughtered for human food experience because they are more graphic and gruesome than any horror movie you’ve ever seen—and because they are real. (You will find links to graphic videos on the RESOURCES page).
The truth is that the animal agriculture industry causes hundreds of billions of sweet, gentle animals to suffer before being slaughtered with no pain relief, after lives of agony and torture.
So, if you really believe that people should respect your “personal choice” to consume animals and their bodily secretions (dairy and eggs), please remember that your choices have suffering victims. What about respecting them?
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that there are many delicious, healthy alternatives to animals and their bodily secretions, and that you don’t need to consume animals or their bodily secretions in order to be healthy. (See the RESOURCES page for many links.) While this website focuses primarily on compassion for the animals, there are many important reasons to go vegan, such as climate change, human health, world hunger, widespread pollution, deforestation, land degradation, water scarcity, antibiotic resistance, species extinction, etc. These other issues are referenced throughout this website, and the RESOURCES page has many links to other websites for more information and evidence about these other issues, including links to scientific studies and undercover videos.
EMPATHY & COMPASSION
Once we understand that animal consumption is not a requirement for good health, and if we have access to nutritious plant-based foods, then the choice to continue supporting the meat/dairy/egg industry is a conscious decision to harm and kill animals for pleasure and self-indulgence — simply because we like the way something tastes.
Please engage in some critical thinking about your choices. You may not like the way it makes you feel, but because animal agriculture detrimentally affects other living, sentient beings, supporting that industry should at least be questioned, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel.
If you don't believe something you see on this website, then please do your own research, but please don't ignore it. Becoming vegan is not about good people versus bad people, or about judging anyone.
Veganism is simply about having empathy and compassion for others.
MOTHERS & BABIES
I’ll never be a mother, so I won’t pretend to understand the bond between a mother and her newborn. But what I really can’t comprehend is how human mothers can be a part of the cruel separation and deprivation of babies from their mothers (and of course the ensuing torture and misery), which is standard procedure in the animal agriculture industry. If you are a mother who consumes bacon, eggs, cheese, steak, etc., you should know how babies and mothers are treated in slaughterhouses and on factory farms, which is where 99% of land animals raised for food suffer during their unimaginable, wretched lives.
WHAT HAPPENS TO CHICKS?
Chicks are hatched in large incubators where they never even know their mothers. They open their eyes to filthy and crowded cages or warehouses surrounded by ammonia fumes and floating toxic debris, until they are slaughtered, never knowing their mother’s love.
The chicks raised for meat live about six weeks, and because of genetic engineering designed so that they will develop more meat, they balloon to over six times their natural weight.
Their underdeveloped bones often cannot handle this weight, and many develop deformed bones and other painful skeletal disorders. Many become lame and die because they cannot get to food or water.
The chickens who survive are subjected to the most depraved method of slaughter – They are hung upside down and moved through a vat of electrified water, before their necks are slit by an industrial blade. Their bodies are then dropped into the scalding hot water of a de-feathering tank.
CULLING & DE-BEAKING
Male chicks born to egg-laying hens are considered non-profitable waste. They are slaughtered by grinding or gassing, or just thrown into trash bags where they slowly die in agony.
The male chicks are spared agonizing lives when they are killed on the day they are born, but the female chicks have the ends of their beaks cut off with hot blades (without pain killers, of course) when they are just a few days old so that they won’t frantically peck each other in the intense confinement. Many of these de-beaked chickens starve to death because eating is too painful.
CONFINEMENT & GENETIC MANIPULATION
In the United States, the vast majority of egg-laying hens are still kept in battery cages, as many as 10 crammed together in a space so small that they cannot stand up or spread their wings. Their reproductive systems have been manipulated to produce approximately 10 times more eggs than their frail little bodies are designed to bear.
The constant egg production depletes their bodies of calcium, and most of them suffer from debilitating osteoporosis. They experience chronic physical and emotional pain until their egg productivity drops, usually at about 18 months. Then, when they are no longer “commercially viable,” they are slaughtered in the same method described above.
WHAT HAPPENS TO PIGLETS?
Piglets are torn away from their mothers just a few weeks after being born. They are allowed to nurse, but usually through tiny, narrow gestation crates in which their mother is imprisoned.
Because piglets compete for udders, they sometimes fight, which can cause injuries to their snouts and faces, and to the mother’s teats. To minimize potential damage to the meat, their eight eye-teeth are snipped off with sharp tools and no pain relief.
Their tails are chopped off, their ears mutilated, and the males have their testicles cut out of their scrotums with pliers. The piglets scream in agony, and no pain killers are given, of course.
FORCED BREEDING & TORTUROUS RESTRAINT
The piglets are taken away from their mothers when they are less than a month old. They then spend their short lives crowded in filthy pens on slabs of concrete before they are sent to slaughter. The mothers are impregnated again and again, and the cycle of forced breeding and restrained torture continues.
WHAT HAPPENS TO CALVES?
Calves are removed almost immediately from their mothers, which is devastating for both mother and calf. The separation occurs quickly because bonding would make separation even more difficult later and could affect the mother’s milk production, which is the dairy industry’s only concern.
When a calf is taken away from his or her mother, she will scream and cry for hours or even days. The calves are denied their mothers’ milk and fed formula instead so that the milk product isn’t wasted. The impulse to suckle is so strong in baby calves that they will desperately try to suckle each other’s ears and faces when they are within reach, or even on the fingers of the factory farm and slaughterhouse workers.
VEAL CALVES OR MILKING MACHINES
The male calves are kept in tiny boxes all alone, where they will spend the next few months until they are slaughtered for veal. The female calves are destined to become milking machines themselves, which usually entails about four years of misery, during which they are forcibly impregnated, give birth, lose calves over and over again, and are hooked up to machines, until their worn-out bodies collapse, and then they are sent to slaughter.
IS THIS REALLY WHO WE ARE?
ALL OF THIS HORROR IS VERY WELL-DOCUMENTED IN NUMEROUS VIDEOS AVAILABLE ONLINE. IN FACT, THE MEAT, DAIRY, AND EGG INDUSTRIES AND OUR GOVERNMENT DON’T EVEN DENY THAT ALL OF THIS TORTURE HAPPENS.
IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY, IT’S HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC, AND IT’S CONSIDERED “HUMANE.” BUT PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO KNOW, OR SIMPLY DON’T CARE BECAUSE THEY LIKE THE WAY SOMETHING TASTES.
HOW CAN THAT BE? IS THIS REALLY WHO WE ARE? CAN ANY MOTHER IMAGINE HER BABY BEING TREATED THIS HORRIFICALLY?
WHY ARE YOU PAYING FOR IT?
If you are appalled at separating newborn babies from their mothers, severely restricting their bonding and nursing, mutilating and tormenting them for their entire lives, all before the agonizingly painful slaughter, then why do you continue to pay for all of this to happen with your food choices?
These animals aren't machines. They are sentient beings who endure severe psychological, emotional, and physical trauma for their entire lives. It’s absurd to claim that they are mere objects who don’t experience emotions including pleasure, pain, and fear.
All sentient beings have the right to experience the nurturing love of their mothers, and to live free from exploitation, harm, and slaughter by humans – because unlike wild carnivorous animals, humans can behave morally, think rationally, and live happy and healthy lives without consuming animals or their bodily secretions. Please think about it and open your heart.
FARMED ANIMALS NEED HELP!
Why is this website primary focused on farmed animals? Animal Charity Evaluators, a United States non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of animals, estimates that of all animals used and killed by humans in the US, over 99.6% are farm animals. The remaining 0.4% represents all other categories (laboratories, clothing, shelters, etc.).
Animal Charity Evaluators also estimates that of all US donations to animal charities, only 0.8% goes specifically to organizations that help farmed animals. The farmed animals are suffering and being slaughtered in astronomical numbers, but they receive a very, very low and disproportionate percentage of charitable funding. If we want to make the biggest impact helping animals, we should focus on farm animals.
HAVE YOU EVER MET A CHICKEN?
Chickens are very loving and lovable. They are intelligent, inquisitive, sensitive, and social, and have unique personalities. Chickens form relationships, bond with others, and have social hierarchies. Because of their social nature, they look out for their families and for other chickens in their group. Mother hens care for and protect their children, and show a range of loving maternal traits. Their cognitive abilities can be more advanced than those of cats, dogs, and even some primates. Chickens can complete complex mental tasks and are able to add, subtract, and even discriminate between quantities. They have adept communication skills and at least 30 different vocal communication calls. Chickens like to hang out together, taking dust baths, roosting in trees, and lying in the sun.
The chickens who are eaten by humans are called broiler chickens. They are genetically selected to reach a grotesque weight of more than six times their natural weight in only six weeks. They are still babies when they are slaughtered, but they are so large for their underdeveloped bones that many cannot even stand on their legs, let alone walk. They develop painful skeletal disorders, lameness, and cracked bones, and spend their short lives in misery.
INDUSTRY STANDARD FOR SLAUGHTERING CHICKENS
People who eat chickens should know the industry standard for slaughtering them. Approximately 9 billion chickens are killed for food each year in the United States. The method favored and primarily used by US poultry processors is an electrical water-bath stun system – The birds are hung upside down with their legs shackled into a metal conveyor, and they are moved through a vat of electrified water, which is intended to stun and paralyze them into a tonic seizure that causes their muscles to contract, rendering them unconscious before their necks are slit by an industrial blade. Their bodies are then dropped into scalding hot water, which removes their feathers. This method is the industry standard, which is considered humane.
Research shows that this method does not consistently render the chickens unconscious before they are killed, which means that hundreds of millions of them experience intense suffering. EVEN IF ONLY 1% OF US CHICKENS RAISED FOR MEAT EACH YEAR ARE NOT EFFECTIVELY STUNNED, THAT WOULD MEAN THAT MORE THAN 90 MILLION OF THEM ARE PARALYZED BUT STILL FULLY CONSCIOUS, EXPERIENCING AN AGONIZING DEATH.
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CHICKENS ARE BOILED ALIVE EVERY YEAR IN THE UNITED STATES
What’s worse is that US poultry companies deliberately use electrical settings aimed at producing the best quality meat, rather than ensuring that chickens are effectively stunned. Researchers report that the settings do not always stun the chickens into unconsciousness because low-voltage electricity is intentionally used, leaving the birds paralyzed but not unconscious, thus causing intense pain before they die.
Prior to the electrical water-bath, the chickens are forcibly removed from crates, which can cause broken bones and wings. Because chickens do not have diaphragms, when they are hung upside down, their internal organs are painfully compressed as they dangle. Chickens have pain receptors in their legs, which means that the shackling process is of course excruciating. Most of them flap their wings immediately after being shackled, and because they are usually about six weeks old, their joints and tendons are underdeveloped. Intense wing-flapping can lead to dislocated joints, broken bones, and hemorrhaging in their wings. Flapping can also cause birds to receive painful shocks as their wings touch the electrified water before their heads are submerged.
Some chickens survive the water-bath and miss the industrial blade. THE US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ESTIMATES THAT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BIRDS ARE BOILED ALIVE EVERY YEAR BECAUSE THEY MANAGE TO SURVIVE UNTIL THEY ARE DROPPED INTO THE TANK OF SCALDING WATER. Remember that this method of killing them is the US industry standard, and that there are no government regulations or oversight in the US for chickens. (The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act does not cover birds at all.) We must rely on the animal agriculture industry itself to slaughter these animals “humanely.”
DE-BEAKING: PAINFUL AND STANDARD PROCEDURE
Chickens in these horrendous conditions often go insane and peck each other violently, and even cannibalize each other, which is why they are de-beaked. De-beaking is a painful mutilation that prevents them from eating normally and preening their feathers. Their beaks are literally seared off, causing misery for their entire lives. De-beaking is standard in the animal agriculture industry because the eggs and “meat” are the priorities, not the wellbeing of the chickens.
De-beaking is extremely painful for chickens, and the United States government acknowledges that it is standard procedure and extremely painful for them (see below). If you eat chickens or eggs, YOU are complicit in this suffering. You may access the document HERE.
BATTERY CAGES ARE STANDARD IN THE U.S.
Over 95% of egg-laying hens in the United States currently live in battery cages* in which the space each hen has to move for practically her entire life (usually about 18 months) is approximately the size of an iPad. That means that 19 out of 20 eggs consumed in the US come from suffering, sick chickens crammed together (as many as 10) in a cage so small that they cannot spread their wings.
Right now, battery cages (and the sale of eggs from hens in battery cages) are prohibited only in California, and Ohio has enacted a suspension of the construction of new battery cages. Other states have passed legislation restricting battery cages that isn’t effective yet (Michigan – effective 2019, Massachusetts – effective 2022, Oregon – effective 2026, Washington – effective 2026, and Rhode Island – effective 2034). These sweet animals are suffering NOW, and many billions more will suffer before these laws are enacted.
Chickens in these horrendous conditions often go insane and peck each other violently, and even cannibalize each other, which is why they are de-beaked, a very painful mutilation that is done without painkillers. These hens also suffer from diseases due to unsanitary and hazardous conditions. Feces and urine fall from the cages above them through the cage floors made of wire.
GENETIC MANIPULATION CAUSES LIFELONG PAIN
These hens are deliberately bred to produce many more eggs than they would in nature – more eggs than their bodies can handle, which takes a severe toll on them. Chickens naturally only lay 10 to 15 eggs per year, but we have genetically tampered with them through generations of selective breeding so that they lay many more eggs. Their reproductive systems have been obscenely manipulated to produce up to 300 eggs per year, more than their frail little bodies are designed to bear.Because the constant production of an abnormal quantity of eggs depletes their bodies of massive amounts of calcium, most of them suffer from debilitating, painful osteoporosis.
In fact, in nature hens eat the egg shells, which are made of calcium carbonate, to replace their lost calcium and other nutrients. Taking a hen’s eggs away prevents her from replenishing the nutrients that are constantly leached from her body in the process of incessant egg-laying. Once a hen’s egg production declines and she is no longer commercially viable, she is slaughtered, becoming one of the 9 billion chickens killed for food each year in the United States**.
THERE ARE NO U.S. FEDERAL LAWS FOR CHICKENS
There are no federal regulations for the treatment of chickens in the US. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act only mentions how pigs, cows, sheep, and horses are to be treated when they are killed. Chickens, turkeys, and other birds have no protection at all from this extreme cruelty that is standard in the animal agriculture industry. (The majority of US states specifically exclude farm animals from anti-cruelty laws. A few states do include farm animals in some anti-cruelty laws, but those laws are almost never enforced for animals hidden away in factory farms, where 99% of farm animals come from, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture***.) Slaughterhouse and factory farm workers are legally permitted to do whatever they want to these birds. If a pet parrot or cockatiel were treated like a farm chicken, it would be considered animal cruelty and a crime.
Chickens are not machines or mere objects. They have central nervous systems. They are sentient beings with the ability to experience emotions. They can feel pleasure, pain, agony, and fear. Are those eggs really that important to you, when there are so many nutritious and delicious alternatives that don’t come from lifelong pain and torture? Please, think about your food choices and ask yourself if you are being ethical and compassionate, and try to imagine if you were forced to live like this.
* Source: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42534.pdf
MALE CHICK SLAUGHTER
Male chicks born to egg-laying hens are considered non-profitable waste. They are slaughtered by grinding or gassing, or just thrown into trash bags where they slowly die in agony. Literally suffering to death.
What's worse is that while the male chicks are at least spared agonizing lives when they are ground up or suffocated on the day they are born, the female chicks experience extreme physical and emotional pain while laying eggs for their entire lives.
“CAGE FREE” & “FREE RANGE”
Please don’t be fooled by “cage free” and “free range” labels, which represents 5% of egg-laying hens in the US. These labels are marketing scams. “Cage free” chickens live in massive windowless warehouses that hold tens of thousands of suffering chickens, crowded together in their own filth. “Cage free” means that although they are not squeezed into tiny wire cages, they never go outside, and they are confined in dark, crowded buildings filled with toxic gases.
“Free range” means that the chickens had access to the outdoors at least ONCE in their lives. Moving them from the hatcheries to the factory farms counts as that one time they have access to the outdoors. They are crammed together so tightly that they are forced to urinate and defecate on one another. They often have to walk on top of each other, and over the dead rotting bodies of the chickens who suffered to death, in order to get to food and water. The stench of ammonia and feces heavily permeates the air, and disease runs rampant in these filthy, cramped sheds. These chickens are de-beaked too. Don’t be fooled by the marketing tactics of the animal agriculture industry. “Cage free” and “free range” chickens also experience lifelong suffering and misery.
WHAT ABOUT “BACKYARD” EGGS?
People assume that backyard eggs are cruelty-free because the hens might seem happy, but if you think about it logically, those hens came from somewhere, and they definitely had brothers, who of course can't lay eggs. Chickens give birth to males and females the same as all animals - about 50/50. Where are their brothers? These “backyard egg” sellers don't take care of the male chickens because they don't produce eggs – Why would they take care of them if they can’t profit from them?
“Backyard egg” sellers can’t profitably hatch their own chicks. They must purchase chicks from hatcheries, which is exactly where factory farms get their chicks. These babies are hatched in incubators and never come close to their mothers. At these hatcheries, male chicks are sorted out and killed by being ground up alive, gassed, or left to suffocate in garbage bags and dumpsters. What a horrible, prolonged way to die. If you don't believe this, then the next time you purchase "backyard eggs," ask the sellers where the male chickens are.
A common practice for “backyard egg” sellers is to order the chicks to be shipped to them in the mail from the hatcheries. These babies are shipped without food, water, or any protection, for days. In some cases, male chicks are used as packing material for the financially valuable female chicks in the boxes, and then tossed in the trash when the shipment arrives. Many of these babies die in transit. The next time you purchase "backyard eggs," ask the sellers how they obtain their egg-laying hens. If they claim to hatch the chicks themselves, ask to see the hatchery, and the mother hens.
Also ask the sellers what happens to the hens when they stop laying eggs at a profitable rate. When the hens stop producing eggs efficiently, of course they are slaughtered for meat, after about two years or when the hen can no longer lay enough eggs to be profitable. When you fund “backyard egg” operations, you are also funding the meat industry. Even if the hens are allowed to live after they no longer lay eggs, and they die of natural causes, which is rarely the case, the sellers will still need to purchase more hens to exploit for their eggs. And the cycle continues.
Another issue is that these hens have been selectively bred and genetically manipulated to lay approximately 10 times more eggs than their frail little bodies are designed to bear. (In nature, a hen would only lay about a dozen eggs per year, and she would eat the shells of her own unfertilized eggs in order to replace her decrease in calcium, which is a result of egg-laying.) The constant, labor intensive egg production completely depletes their bodies of calcium, which they can’t replace because their eggs are taken from them, and as a result most of them suffer from the chronic pain of debilitating osteoporosis.
If you believe that eggs can ever be humanely obtained, ask yourself where the hens come from, and where their parents and brothers are. Also ask yourself what happens to the hens' bodies as a result of being genetically manipulated to produce an obscenely large number of unnaturally large eggs. Ask yourself why hens exist in the first place – Are they food and sources of food? Do they deserve to live happy lives like other animals in the wild?
Don't kid yourself – “Backyard eggs” come from suffering and slaughter.
HAVE YOU EVER MET A COW?
Cows are the gentle giants of the world. Cows are sweet and docile, and they and have no instinct to harm, which is why they are easily exploited. They are very intelligent and emotional. They like to cuddle, and they can form tight bonds with each other, humans, and other animals. When a calf is taken away from his or her mother, she will scream and cry for hours or even days. Please visit cows at an animal sanctuary so that you can see for yourself how extremely affectionate and loving they are. Try to think of cows as living beings rather than packaged products served as food, or as machines that produce milk.
HUMANS, COW MILK, & COMMON SENSE
WHAT IS MILK? Milk is lactating secretion produced by the mammary glands of mammals who have given birth. Milk is the primary source of nutrition and growth hormones for baby mammals, and all milk is biologically designed for specific species: For example, dog milk is for baby dogs, rat milk is for baby rats, and human milk is for baby humans.
WHY DO COWS PRODUCE MILK? Like all mammals, cows produce milk when they give birth. That milk is specifically designed to be the primary source of nutrition and growth hormones for baby cows. A cow must be pregnant to produce milk. The purpose of cow milk is to turn a 65-pound calf into a 700-pound adult cow.
WHY AREN’T BABY COWS ALLOWED TO DRINK THEIR MOTHERS’ MILK ON DAIRY FARMS? In the dairy industry, baby cows who need their mothers’ milk are taken away from their mothers and denied that milk. Baby cows are deprived of their mothers’ milk because for some bizarre and irrational reason, humans want to consume it. These baby cows are either slaughtered right away, or they are isolated in boxes for several months (like the baby in this image), to be slaughtered and served to humans as veal. (Although some dairy farms have found a much crueler way to treat these cows. They insert a spiked nose ring into the calf’s nose so that the spikes will poke the mother cow when the calf tries to suckle on her udders. The mother rejects the calf because of the spikes. These cruel devices allow dairies to say that they don’t separate babies from mothers! They aren’t separated, but they can’t nurse or bond!)
WHY DO HUMANS WANT TO CONSUME COW MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS? Dairy farmers, the animal agriculture industry, the mainstream media, the government, and even the healthcare industry have successfully used propaganda to convince most humans that stealing and consuming bovine mammary secretions is healthy, necessary, natural, and completely normal behavior—because there is MONEY to be made by exploiting and torturing cows. Yes, it’s all about money.
WHEN YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT, DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO CONSUME THE BODILY FLUIDS OF OTHER ANIMALS? Please seriously think about that. Would you eat cheese made from dog milk? Rat milk? Human milk? You wouldn’t eat cheese made from the milk from your own species? Why not? Mammary secretions are baby growth formula intended for the offspring of specific species. Why would an intelligent, rational human adult consume bovine mammary secretions, paying the dairy industry to exploit, torture, and ultimately slaughter cows? Please think about it, and be the ethical person you claim to be.
DAIRY IS TORTURE & DEATH
The dairy industry IS the veal industry. Like all mammals, cows must be pregnant to produce milk. The babies who need that milk are taken away from their mothers, and what happens to them? The female calves are destined to become tortured milking machines themselves, forcibly impregnated over and over again to keep the milk flowing. The male calves are either killed right away, or they are shackled inside crates all alone, and later slaughtered for veal.
When a calf is taken away from his or her mother, she will scream and cry for hours or even days. It's astounding how many people can't seem to make this connection, or just don’t care about this insane cruelty, all to consume the mammary secretions of another species. There are many cruelty-free delicious and healthy alternatives to dairy products. Please think about what you support when you purchase anything with cow milk in it, and start making ethical and compassionate and rational choices!
THE SPIKED NOSE RING: THE CRUELEST OF THE CRUEL
The spiked nose ring (see images above) is a standard device used by dairy farmers (on small dairy farms too). The reason they insert these cruel devices into a calf’s nose is so that the spikes will poke the mother cow when a calf tries to suckle on her udders. The mother rejects the calf because of the spikes.
But WHY does the dairy industry inflict this cruelty on babies and mothers? SO THAT THEY CAN (TRUTHFULLY) SAY THAT THEY DON’T SEPARATE BABIES FROM MOTHERS! They aren’t separated, but they can’t nurse or bond! The mammary secretions intended for the babies are stolen for humans to consume, so that the dairy industry can profit from animal exploitation and cruelty!
Imagine the torture of babies trying to nurse from their mothers, and being unable to do so because of this device, all so that bovine mammary secretions (actual baby growth formula) can be stolen for humans to consume. THIS IS THE DAIRY INDUSTRY! PLEASE STOP SUPPORTING ANIMAL CRUELTY! Please buy plant-based products!
WHY ARE YOU STILL BREASTFEEDING...FROM A COW?!
If you want mammary secretions, get them from your own mother! Would it be bizarre to consume breast milk as an adult from your mother? Isn’t it even more bizarre to consume breast milk as an adult from another species?
Think about that for a moment: Why are you still breastfeeding? Aren’t you angry that the dairy industry’s propaganda has tricked you all of these years?! You are literally consuming bodily secretions intended for a baby, and you think that is completely normal and natural?! It’s time to WAKE UP!
Please think about these suffering animals and ask yourself if stealing and consuming mammary secretions from babies who are slaughtered...is who you really are. Please purchase plant-based products. They are everywhere, and they are healthy and delicious!
ARE YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING THIS BABY?
Look at that cute baby! He’s on his way to the slaughterhouse because his mother is a dairy cow, and since he can’t produce milk, the dairy farmers will sell him to the veal industry, and he will never see his mother again. IF YOU PURCHASE DAIRY PRODUCTS, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING THIS BABY.
Cows (and all animals exploited for human food) are emotional beings, capable of love, affection, and a wide range of emotions. They are sentient individuals with central nervous systems and full subjective awareness. They seek attention and affection, bond with other animals, care about their babies, feel emotions, can experience pain and suffering, and want to live——just like us!
Vegetarians need to understand that the dairy industry IS the veal industry. Like all mammals, cows must be pregnant to produce milk. Milk is lactating secretion produced by the mammary glands of mammals who have given birth. Cow milk is specifically designed as the primary source of nutrition and growth hormones for baby cows. The purpose of cow milk is to turn a 65-pound calf into a 700-pound adult cow. The baby cows who need that milk are cruelly taken away from their mothers. The female calves are destined to become tortured milking machines themselves, forcibly impregnated over and over again to keep the milk flowing. The male calves are either killed right away, or they are shackled inside crates all alone, and later slaughtered for veal.
Dairy farmers, the animal agriculture industry, and the government have successfully used propaganda, lies, and bogus studies to brainwash most humans into believing that stealing and consuming bovine mammary secretions is healthy, necessary, natural, and completely normal behavior——because there is money to be made by exploiting and torturing cows. Yes, it’s all about MONEY.
Cows are the gentle giants of the world. They are sweet and docile, and they and have no instinct to harm, which is why they are easily exploited. There are now cruelty-free delicious and healthy plant-based alternatives to dairy products that are abundantly available.
A measure of human morality is how we treat the innocent and helpless. All sentient beings have the right to experience the nurturing love of their mothers, and to live free from exploitation, harm, and slaughter by humans——because unlike wild animals, humans can behave morally, think rationally, and live happy and healthy lives without consuming animals or their bodily secretions.
THE THE MISERABLE LIFE OF A DAIRY COW
Try to imagine what your life would be like if you were a dairy cow being exploited for your bodily secretions, hooked up to machines, forcibly impregnated over and over again while your babies are taken away from you, imprisoned in misery until the day that you are sold to the meat industry to be slaughtered because you stop producing milk at a profitable rate.
Cows are not milk-making machines. They are sentient beings with central nervous systems and brains——just like you and your pets——which means that they have full self-awareness and can experience emotions, and pain and suffering. Please think about these cows and ask yourself if stealing and consuming mammary secretions from babies who are slaughtered along with their mothers...is who you really are.
And aren’t you irritated that you’ve been socially conditioned by decades of dairy industry propaganda to engage in a behavior as bizarre as consuming another species’ mammary secretions? What is milk anyway? Isn’t it species-specific food for babies? You know, like dog milk is for baby dogs, giraffe milk is for baby giraffes, orangutan milk is for baby orangutans, cow milk is for...YOU? Seriously? Think about that.
All mammals produce milk when they have babies. The milk is specifically designed for their babies. Drinking the mammary secretions of another species is not natural or normal. Would you drink a glass of human breast milk, or eat cheese or ice cream made from human breast milk? If you think that’s gross, stop and really think about that. You won’t consume the milk of your own species, but you think it’s totally normal to consume bovine bodily fluids?
Please purchase plant-based products. They are everywhere, and they are healthy and delicious! It just takes a little extra time to look for non-dairy ice cream, beverages, cheese, butter, etc. Why would you want to fund an industry that harms and kills animals for mammary secretions that aren’t for you and that you don’t need, especially when there is an abundance of alternative products that taste the same and are healthier for you?!
DE-HORNING IS PAINFUL, LEGAL, & STANDARD
All cows are born with tissue that will develop into horns. A standard practice in the meat industry and the dairy industry (worldwide) is to remove the sensitive horn tissue (or the horns themselves) from the cows’ skulls by using searing-hot irons, blades, saws, caustic chemicals, or guillotine-like de-horners.
WHY ARE COWS DE-HORNED? According to the animal agriculture industry, there are many reasons:
To decrease aggressiveness in the cows
To produce docile cows that are easier to handle
To enhance safety and to decrease risk of injury to farm employees
To reduce the risk of injury and bruising to other cows
To require less space for the cows
To prevent financial losses that could result from having to trim damaged carcasses caused by horned cows during transport to slaughter
To gain a price advantage because hornless cows are more desirable to buyers
Cows are usually de-horned when they are very young calves. Also called de-budding, this procedure is extremely traumatic to these babies, who are just a few weeks old when their horn buds are burned off or cut out of their heads. For older cows, amputation is required because the horns have already attached to the skull.
Of course, farmers know that this mutilation is excruciatingly painful. Cows struggle violently and have to be restrained during the painful de-horning process, which is done without anesthetics or painkillers.
CAN YOU IMAGINE IF SOMEONE AMPUTATED A PART OF YOUR BODY, FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN WANTING TO EXPLOIT YOU FOR YOUR BODILY SECRETIONS AND YOUR FLESH?
If you don’t believe that de-horning is a legal and standard procedure, when was the last time you saw a cow with horns?
When you pay for cow meat or dairy products, you are paying for cows to be de-horned. Please think about it, and STOP PAYING FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY AND TORTURE!
HAVE YOU EVER MET A PIG?
Pigs are emotional and have distinct personalities. They are gentle, lovable, loyal, and intelligent animals – as smart as a three-year-old child! Pigs are just as sociable as dogs and can develop strong bonds with humans. Pigs like to snuggle with each other and sleep nose to nose. They exhibit empathy for others and have excellent long-term memories. Pigs love to play and engage in mock fighting with each other. Pigs can live in complex social communities, in which they keep track of other individuals – pigs, humans, and other animals. Pigs communicate constantly with one another, with over 20 different vocalizations to communicate different things.
PIGS AND DOGS ARE VERY SIMILAR
Both wag their tails when they are happy.
They are very smart, sociable, loyal, and emotional.
They love to cuddle and be petted.
Pigs and dogs can live indoors with humans as companion animals.
Both can learn tricks, such as how to sit on command, roll over, and jump through hoops.
They can remember specific past events, and can anticipate future events.
Pigs and dogs love to run around and play in wide open spaces.
They engage in play fighting with each other.
They love lying in the sun in piles with other dogs and pigs.
Pigs and dogs show empathy for other animals.
They call for help when their human companion needs medical attention.
But pigs are legally born in tiny metal gestation crates, allowed to nurse from their restrained mother through farrowing crates on concrete, have their tails chopped off and their teeth snipped off, are locked inside filthy crowded pens, and slaughtered at six months of age after lives of misery. Dogs are protected by laws, have rights, and are not eaten by most humans.
PIG THUMPING: LOOK INSIDE THESE “DEAD BOXES”
If you eat animals (or consume bodily secretions from animals who are eventually slaughtered) then you need to LOOK INSIDE THESE DUMPSTERS. These are known as “dead boxes.” These are pigs, most of them babies, who were sickly or injured, and therefore not profitable for the pig farmers, who just throw them into a dumpster.
Pig thumping is a standard procedure in the animal agriculture industry worldwide. In factory farms, sickly and injured piglets are slammed on the ground to kill them, and then they are discarded into a “dead box.” There are also mother pigs inside the dumpsters, who are too sick and injured to give birth to anymore babies. Some of these pigs don’t die right away, and therefore lie in agony inside these dumpsters, slowly dying. When you make the decision pay for dead animals and their bodily secretions, you pay for this too.
Is this who you really are? Is a momentary taste sensation a legitimate, ethical justification for this cruelty? Is this who you really are? LOOK INSIDE THE DUMPSTER AND THEN LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR. Please choose compassion. Please choose plant-based food.
DO YOU HAVE COMPASSION?
Please look at this face. He is a terrified, emotional individual who doesn’t want to die. Could you slaughter him yourself? Of course not. That’s not who you are. That’s why you immediately felt compassion when you saw his face.
So then, how do you avoid accepting responsibility for his suffering and slaughter when you eat bacon? How do you shut off your compassion for a momentary taste sensation? Is that who you really are?
You know that pigs, cows, turkeys, and chickens are fundamentally no different from dogs, cats, parrots, and horses. All of these animals have intrinsic value, seek attention and affection, form bonds with friends, care about their babies, feel emotions, can experience pain, and want to live.
People prefer to dismiss the fact that their “food” was actually a living being rather than face their complicity and responsibility in the cruelty and slaughter. Acknowledging that your “food” came from someone who suffered and died means accepting that you indirectly caused the suffering, that you were misinformed by people you love and respect, that you were duped by corporate propaganda and lies, and that you fiercely defended your choices and denied anything contrary——until you wake up and face the reality.
Of course, you will have to face hardcore truths about what you have been supporting, which will make you feel guilty. Obviously, people don’t want to deal with the appalling realization that they have been responsible for pain, misery, suffering, and terror inflicted on gentle, harmless animals. But pretending it isn’t happening isn’t going to make it stop. You simply have to make the decision to stop being a part of it.
ARE YOU OKAY WITH PEOPLE WHO EAT DOGS?
Please take a moment to think about how morally inconsistent it is to be angry at people in another country for their treatment of animals, if you pay for the exact same treatment to happen to animals in your own country.
People get very angry about how dogs are tortured and slaughtered for food in other countries, but they support the same treatment of other animals in their own country——because they like the way their flesh and bodily secretions taste. What is the difference?
Chickens, cows, pigs and other animals are no different from dogs. These animals are just as sensitive, sweet, and unique as dogs are. They all seek attention and affection, form bonds with friends, care about their babies, feel emotions, can experience pain, and want to live.
Have you been culturally conditioned to believe that some animals deserve to be treated differently so that you may consume their flesh and bodily secretions? When and why did you make that distinction? And are you being fair and ethical? If you don’t want dogs to suffer, then is it morally consistent for you to contribute to the suffering of other animals?
These are difficult questions, and you may not want to think about them. But the truth is that hundreds of billions of sweet, gentle animals die after lives of agony and torture. Most of them never see the sun, or have the ability to turn around for their entire lives, before being brutally slaughtered with no pain relief.
A measure of human moral progress is how we treat the innocent and helpless, and no one is more innocent and helpless than docile, vulnerable, gentle animals.
The good news is that there are many delicious, healthy alternatives to flesh, organs, and bodily secretions, and that you don’t need to consume animals or their bodily secretions in order to be healthy.
Once you understand that animal consumption is not a requirement for good health, and if you have access to nutritious plant-based foods, then the choice to continue supporting the meat, dairy, and egg industries is a conscious decision to harm and kill animals for pleasure and self-indulgence——simply because you like the way something tastes.
Please engage in some critical thinking about your choices. You may not like the way it makes you feel, but because animal agriculture detrimentally affects other living, sentient beings, supporting that industry should at least be questioned, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel.
The bottom line is that humans can behave morally, think rationally, and live happy and healthy lives without consuming animals or their bodily secretions. Please think about it and open your heart.